Jorge Castro graduated early from high school, after which he enrolled in the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. Following his graduation from an 18-month course in restaurant management, he took on running his uncle’s restaurant in Renton, Washington. At only 19 years of age, he was running a restaurant and looking for the opportunity to open his own.
Due to his young age and limited experience, Jorge was turned away from several properties, with landlords being unwilling to lease to such a young person. Jorge’s father discovered a restaurant owner who needed to be freed from a lease. He had been unable to make his payments for eight months, so Jorge took over the location, opening his first restaurant opening when he was just 22 years old: the Guadalajara Grill & Cantina.
It opened in 2008, and initially faced many challenges — but with dedication and persistence, it became one of the top three restaurants in the Longview area. Jorge continued expanding his mini-empire of restaurants, taking over and remodeling several locations. His latest venture is his restaurant in Hazel Dell, built from the ground up, with Jorge’s vision for the ideal venue becoming a reality.